Canyon County

Thursday, March 26, 2015

St. Luke's Eyes Nampa For New Hospital

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 9:39 AM

While officials with the St. Luke's Health System prepare for a crucial series of public hearings in front of the Boise City Council where hospital officials will argue for a huge master plan that includes new construction, a tremendous amount of renovation and the controversial closing of a portion of Jefferson Street, St. Luke's is also looking westward.

This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune is reporting that St. Luke's has filed an application to upgrade its Nampa facility to a new 76-bed hospital. The current facility opened in 2012 and includes urgent care and an emergency department, but the proposed build-out would turn the facility into a full-fledged community hospital. The proposed hospital could be the second of its kind for Nampa. Saint Alphonsus has said it also wants to build a new 100-bed hospital in the Canyon County city.

Meanwhile, Boise Weekly has learned that the debate over St. Luke's master plan for downtown Boise could attract so many members of the public that the hearing has now been scheduled to take place over two evenings, Tuesday, April 7 and Tuesday, April 14, before the Boise City Council.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Press-Tribune: Caldwell Allows Public to Discharge Firearms Within City Limits

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 10:54 AM

If you can justify it to police, you can now fire a gun in Caldwell, the Idaho Press-Tribune reports.

During its March 2 meeting, the Caldwell City Council voted 4-2 to allow residents to discharge firearms within city limits. The ordinance, fronted by Caldwell Police Chief Chris Allgood, stemmed from worries about the recent avian flu quarantine

In January, a small Canyon County poultry flock was euthanized after testing positive for the disease. Now, commercial bird owners are asking Allgood for permission to shoot pigeons and crows that may carry avian flu, threatening their flocks. 

"The people who have made this request, this is their livelihood," Allgood told the Press-Tribune

The ordinance gives police authority to apply it on a case-by-case basis. The shooter must disclose the type of weapon used, and use that weapon only during a designated period of time. CPD hasn't decided whether residents should be notified if a neighbor was going to fire a weapon. That worried some on the City Council.

"We should have had a little more public notice of what we were doing," Council Rob Hopper said.

Hopper said he voted against the ordinance not because he disagrees with it, but because the City Council had suspended its public reading rules to pass it on its first reading. Caldwell's city rules require bills to be read at three separate meetings.

"People needed to know and have a chance to comment," Hopper said.
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Idaho Ag Department Orders Parma Quarantine In Wake of Avian Influenza Discovery

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 9:57 AM

In the wake of this week's discovery of avian flu in the Canyon County community of Parma, the State Department of Agriculture has ordered a quarantine area of about 6 miles near the town.  The quarantine restricts movement of eggs, poultry or poultry products from inside the quarantine zone unless those products receive a special permit.

The department has created a half-moon shaped quarantine zone covering about 6 miles around the site near Parma where chickens tested positive in early January for H5N2, a highly pathogenic strain of avian flu.

Meanwhile the Ag department is cautioning bird owners to keep their domestic birds from contact with wild waterfowl.

Health officials said there was no immediate public health concern due to the avian influenza virus detected. Avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat.

But avian influenza is a very critical factor in a number of international trading partners determining whether to accept Idaho's poultry exports. Outbreaks in communities throughout the Pacific Northwest and California have have caused China and some other nations to ban U.S. poultry and eggs

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mexican National Gets 35 Years for Lewd Conduct with a Minor

Posted By on Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 9:30 AM

A Mexican citizen will spend up to 35 years in jail for having sexual contact with a 5-year-old girl.

Gerardo Contreras, 28, was sentenced Dec. 8 for the act, which took place in 2011. The victim is the daughter of Contreras' then-girlfriend. According to the Idaho Press-Tribune, Nampa and Caldwell law enforcement performed a joint investigation and obtained a felony warrant for Contreras' arrest in 2013, but he was deported to Mexico for an unrelated crime before he could be arrested.

After re-entering the United States illegally, Contreras was arrested again and was served the January 2013 warrant. Contreras has also been fined a civil penalty of $5,000 and must pay court costs, as well as register as a sex offender, submit DNA to the Idaho database and have no further contact with the victim. 

He will have to serve at least 10 years in prison before being considered for parole. 

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Toy Gun Triggers School Lockdowns in Middleton, Student Suspended

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 10:59 AM

  • Canyon County Sheriff's Office
A Canyon County elementary school student has been suspended from school for two days in the shadow of an incident earlier this week where he brought a toy gun to school.

The Canyon County Sheriff's Office says the toy revolver was convincing enough to pass for the real thing at first glance, and "even a toy gun can be dangerous when an officer has to make a split-second, life-or-death decision."

The principal at the child's school says a full interview will be conducted with the parents of the child to determine if a longer suspension is necessary.

This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that the incident began when authorities were alerted to the possibility that someone had a gun on a Middleton school bus, on its way to Middleton Heights Elementary School. Two schools were put into so-called "soft lockdowns" as officers searched for the weapon. 

"We treat the toy gun just like a regular gun as far as threat of violence," Middleton School Superintendent Richard Bauscher told the Tribune. "Our policy still addresses it."

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Concerns Mount Over Canyon County Animal Shelter

Posted By on Sun, Aug 10, 2014 at 11:48 AM

  • Canyon County Animal Shelter

Last week, the Canyon County Animal Shelter Allies listed concerns surrounding the Canyon County Animal Shelter in a letter sent to Canyon County commissioners, and the Nampa and Caldwell city councils, as well as to the director of the Humane Society of the United States. It included accusations of mishandled euthanasia of animals, concerns over animal welfare and attitudes toward volunteers, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune.

The IPT reported this morning that the shelter has not yet come up with a time, place or date to host a town-hall meeting to address these concerns. The board president of the shelter, Brenda Cameron, told the IPT the shelter doesn't have a room big enough to hold such a meeting, but the board members will meet on Wednesday to iron out details.

Cameron said the claims in the letter are unsubstantiated, though.

"We're running a top-notch shelter and are proud of the accomplishments we have done," Cameron told the IPT. She added that she looks forward to hearing from the group.

The Canyon County Animal Shelter Allies are comprised of 31 members, made up of current and past volunteers, former employees and patrons. They requested a private meeting with the shelter's board—an idea Cameron said she's entertaining, but a decision won't be made until Aug. 13.

The letter, sent on July 29, stated that "over the past several months, we have seen this shelter become more and more unwelcoming, secretive, inaccessible and unresponsive. Volunteers and patrons have left feeling uncomfortable and shut out."

The letter says some animals are being euthanized with little or no assessment, or over treatable medical conditions. It claims animals are "disappearing," or not showing up on intake records.

The shelter calls itself a "no-kill" facility, and says on its website that it keeps the euthanasia rate under 5 percent—reserved only for severe medical illness or injury, aggression toward people, or "when the animal's quality of life is rated as very poor."

The facility has around 35 dogs and 40 cats listed on the website for adoption. It's been around since 2002, and used to be run by the Canyon County Sheriff's Office, but in 2011, it became a private nonprofit. 
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Press-Tribune: New Chief Public Defender for Canyon County

Posted By on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 9:30 AM

After decades of seeing its citizens accused of crimes being represented by private law firms (paid with public funds), Canyon County has hired its first chief public defender.

This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that Canyon County officials ultimately want to create a public defender staff that will include 21 attorneys. And their first hire is Tera Harden, an Idaho native, who has served as a defense attorney in Riverside County, Calif., and was a deputy prosecuting attorney for two additional years.

The Press-Tribune reports that Harden will officially begin her duties in July and should have ample time to start crafting her new in-house public defense department before it's expected to launch this October.

The Press-Tribune reports that Harden's salary will be $97,360.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Press-Tribune: Nampa Police Bring Back Data-Driven Patrol Program

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 9:58 AM

DDACTS stands for Data-Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety. It’s a program that compiles data to identify areas where crime and traffic accidents are highest, then focuses police patrols in those areas. The Idaho-Press Tribune reported this morning that the Nampa Police Department is giving this approach another go after a less successful attempt in the summer of 2012.

Nampa police officer Aaron Schreiber told the Press-Tribune that DDACTS gives officers a bird’s eye, big picture view of where incidents tend to happen, maybe even more accurately than police officers on the ground could.

“We have 113 cops,” Schreiber told the Press-Tribune. “If you were to sit down and ask 113 cops where the problem areas in this city are, you would probably get about 15-20 different answers.”

Using three to five years of data compiled for DDACTS, real trends and patterns can emerge. The police department said it isn’t shooting to write more tickets or make more arrests; there are no quotas. But they’ll strive to have a more visible presence in identified problem areas. Creating the perception of high police presence in an area helps suppress crime and encourage lawful driving.

The police department has higher hopes for the reintroduction of DDACTS this time. With additional training and more careful analysis of data, Schreiber said department leaders expect better results. They’re working in the field now to train officers on how to make DDACTS work.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Idaho Press-Tribune: Historic Museum Moves Forward

Posted By on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:26 PM

  • Idaho Press-Tribune

The Crossroads Transportation Museum being built in Celebration Park outside Melba will aim to educate children about the park’s Native American habitation sites, petroglyphs and relics, and the travels of fur traders, cattle drives and wagon trains.

The Idaho Press-Tribune reported this morning that the exterior of the museum should be complete within the next few weeks, letting Canyon County Parks, Recreation and Waterways officials move forward with the next phase.

Officials anticipate the doors will open this fall, but no exact date has been pinpointed. Construction on the 3,422-square-foot building started in November 2012 with plans for a partial opening last fall, but weather and construction delays slowed the project.

Celebration Park is Idaho’s first and only archeological park, nestled beside the Snake River. The museum will highlight the railroad that crossed historic Guffey Bridge, the steamboats that went down the Snake, and the army expedition that tried to find an alternative route for the Oregon Trail to the south.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Caldwell's State of the City ... Minus the Mayor

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 9:47 AM

The State of the City in Caldwell is.... Wait a minute.... Where's the Mayor?

Everyone was in their place Jan. 28 for Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas' annual State of the City address Tuesday afternoon at the College of Idaho, but the mayor wasn't there.

This morning's Idaho Press-Tribune reports that Nancolas missed the State of the City because of an unexpected medical procedure.

"Trust me, I'd rather be there in person," Nancolas said via a prerecorded video that he taped that morning.

Instead, the State of the City was delivered by Caldwell City Council members Mike Pollard, Dennis Callsen, Rob Hopper, Terrence Biggers and Shannon Ozuna. But the Press-Tribune reports that Council President Jim Blacker was notably absent.

Council members pointed to economic development highlights and Caldwell's dropping crime rate—6,929 offenses per 100,000 people were reported in 2013, versus 8,586 per 100,000 in 2008.

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